Day 5 Jewish Corn Bread - which is actually a rye
One of my goals in learning how to make bread was to be able to recreate a bread I ate as a child called tzitzel. As I understand it, tzitzel mean caraway in Yiddish, and tzitzel is a rye bread with caraway and covered with cornmeal. So far, despite many attempts and many different formulas, I have not come very close to recreating this memory bread. Perhaps one can never recreate memory bread. In any cases, my searches on this site, with its many rye bakers, led me to Greenstein's Secret of a Jewish Baker. I have tried making his Jewish Rye (p. 136) a couple of times, and not very successfully given beginner's errors. I have also made Jewish Corn Bread (p. 155) actually a rye bread with caraway wrapped in cornmeal, several times, and despite many beginner's errors, this bread is delicious enough to make me (almost) forget about some elusive memory of tzitzel. The problem with Jewish Corn Bread, at least as I make it, is that while I can get it to taste good, I can't for the life of me get it to look good. The instructions call for the following: "[after kneading] Transfer the dough to a prepared clean wet bowl...pat the dough down and cover with a film of water....Allow the dough to rise until doubled in volume, 45 to 60 minutes." This is the only rise for this bread. And within minutes after it's done rising it goes straight into the oven. I suspect that this treatment is what causes it to taste so great, and what makes it so addictive (to me anyhow). However, it's a bloody mess when it comes out of the water, practically unshapeable, soggy in parts and so on. And to make matters worse, I'm not 100% sure that his instructions mean to immerse it in water - although that's how I've read it. Does he mean immerse the dough, or does he just mean spill water over it until it's thoroughly wet. Also Greenstein gives all his measurements by volume, some approximately, and I just cook it that way, but my results have been pretty consistent, and pretty consistently ugly.
I'll wait until tomorrow to post crumb photos. I've learned on this site, that one must wait, wait, wait to cut into rye!
And the crumb...